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Visitors are welcome to step back into history and experience eighty acres of stately trees and statuary in the beautiful blend of nature and art that is Elmwood Cemetery.

Please come by the Victorian Carpenter Gothic Cottage which serves as our Visitor Center for maps, audio tours, picnic tables and handicap accessible restrooms. Research assistance is also available in the cottage, and security is on the grounds during business hours.

Tickets purchased for any of the events below are not refundable. Coupons are used for "Elmwood 101" tours only.  


Stone College

An Elmwood University Workshop


Elmwood is known for its large collection of Victorian funerary art. Students enrolling in Stone College will be trained to assist in the preservation of Elmwood’s oldest and most fragile monuments. This workshop will focus on cleaning, leveling and restoring monuments. Graduates of this two and a half hour workshop will be invited to participate in scheduled monument cleanings and restoration events throughout the year.

The cost to attend is $25/person. Advance registration is required. Please wear comfortable clothing that you do not mind getting dirty. For more information about Stone College, please visit our page about Elmwood University.

Elmwood & the Civil War

A Lunch & Lecture Presentation

Civil War Historian Doug Cupples, Professor of History at the University of Tennessee's Health Science Center, will highlight the direct connections between Elmwood and the war on Wednesday, June 10th, at noon. Did you know there are 20 Confederate and Union generals at Elmwood? And Confederate Rest is the final resting place for 1,000 soldiers...

Bring your lunch and we'll provide a drink and a sweet treat. Registration is required. Cost is $7. Sign up here or call 901-774-3212. Starts at 12:00 PM.

This Lunch & Lecture Presentation is brought to you by a special grant from the Crawford-Howard Private Foundation.  

Register today »


What Lies Beneath…

Stories and Secrets of the Elmwood Cottage

Gather after work for wine and light hors d'oeuvres with Elmwood Director, Kim McCollum, and Assistant Director, Bob Barnett, as they share stories, secrets, and hidden treasures beneath the red roof of Elmwood’s historic Cottage. You learn about the building (built in 1866) and its furnishings and hear about “Frozen Charlottes,” the mysterious little dolls left on Elmwood graves more than 100 years ago. You will get to see the actual burial records of some of the enslaved individuals who were buried here before the Civil War, as well as people who died during the great Yellow Fever epidemic of 1878. Kim and Bob will share their favorite cemetery stories with you. You might even hear a one or two about “unexplained happenings.” This will be a fascinating behind-the-scenes look into the oldest active cemetery in Memphis. Wine and light hors d'oeuvres are included. $25.

Mingling will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Cottage, with story-telling to commence at 6 pm. Attendance is limited and advance registration is required. For more information call 901-774-3212.  

Register today »


The Memphis Music Tour

A Walking Tour through Elmwood

Memphis musician Willy Bearden leads a tour on Saturday, June 13th at 10:30 AM that will surely resonate with you. Join him for the "Memphis Music Tour" of Elmwood, where you'll be introduced to the music that echoes through the lives of the people who rest here. 

You'll visit a Confederate composer, a Big Band legend, blues singers, producers and more on this 90 minute walking tour. 

Save your spot and register today by clicking the link or call 901-774-3212. Cost is $15.

Register today »


Scandals & Scoundrels

A Public Walking Tour

Among Elmwood's 75,000 residents are the famous and infamous.  Sinners and saints. Mayors and madams. Politicians and perfectly ordinary citizens. Each of them has a story to tell...and some of those stories don't have happy endings.

Join us for a look at the lives of those who contributed the notorious stories of Memphis history that we love to hear. 

This tour is all-walking and lasts about 90 minutes. Advance registration is required. Cost is $15 per person.  Starts at 5:30 PM. 


Register today »


Elmwood 101

A Walking Tour

Elmwood Cemetery was founded in 1852 as a "park for the living and a resting place for the dead." Winding carriage paths, a canopy of 1,500 trees, and Victorian-age monuments are all featured during this 90 minute walking tour. The history of Memphis is found at Elmwood!

We recommend that you bring a camera and wear your best walking shoes. Registration is available for $15 per person. This tour begins at 10:30 AM. For more information, call 901-774-3212. 


One America: Moving Beyond the Issue of Race

A Read In Peace Book Club Selection & Meeting


"One America: Moving Beyond the Issue of Race examines the underlying challenges preventing Americans from achieving the level of racial harmony that most of us desire.

Art Gilliam shares his experience of growing up in the Deep South during the 1950's -- a time when racism was pervasive. His personal story reflects the impact on the black psyche of being black in America during a period of transition from the back of the bus to the election of a black president."

The Read In Peace Book Club meets at 10 AM in the Lord's Chapel at noon. Author Art Gilliam will join us for this discussion. To reserve your seat at the table, email historian [at] elmwoodcemetery [dot] org.  

This title is available at and local bookstores. Call 901-774-3212 for more information. 


Pawing Through History

A Brown Bag Lunch & Lecture Presentation

Cats, dogs, birds, fish, lambs, butterflies and dolphins are all found carved into stone at Elmwood. They symbolize different sentiments, too. The Victorian Age brought about these special symbols, and what they stand for is just as meaningful today as it was in 1852. 

Join us on Friday, August 28, 2015 for a noon-time presentation on the animals of Elmwood. Bring your lunch; we'll supply a drink and a dessert. The cost is $7 and you can register online. 

This presentation is brought to you through a special grant from the Crawford Howard Private Foundation.  

Register today »


The History of the Memphis Riverfront

A Brown Bag Lunch & Lecture Presentation

Shelby County Historian Jimmy Ogle is known for his ability to make the story of history both entertaining and informative, and we're pleased to announce that he'll be back at Elmwood again in 2015! Join us on September 9th at noon for an hour-long presentation on our beloved riverfront and its evolution over the years. Jimmy will talk cobblestones, buildings, cotton, mules, steamships, and more. 

Advance registration to this event is required. Charge is $7 per person. Feel free to bring your lunch; cookies and drinks will be provided. Call us at 901-774-3212 for directions.  

Register today »


Yellow Fever: A Tour of the Plague

A Walking Tour of Elmwood

The history of the Yellow Fever epidemics of 1873, 1878, and 1879 can be found at Elmwood Cemetery. The Howard Association, the Citizens' Relief Committee, the Sisters of St. Mary's, and individuals who fought valiently against the spread of the scourge rest at Elmwood. Join volunteer and former staffer Jody Schmidt for an all-walking tour through the cemetery grounds and learn their stories. 

This tour lasts 90 minutes, starts at 10:30 AM, and registration is required. The cost is $15 per person. To register by phone, call 774-3212.  

Register today »

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